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Titchmarsh 'hurt' by BBC over Chelsea Flower Show snub

Broadcaster Alan Titchmarsh has admitted he was "hurt" by the BBC's decision to sideline him in this year's Chelsea Flower Show programming - saying he was made "an offer I had to refuse", he told the Radio Times.

Titchmarsh, 65, who has been replaced by Monty Don admitted:

"Yes, I suppose I was hurt, because I know people enjoy you doing it as much as I loved doing it.

Titchmarsh returns with a feature garden at this years show. Credit: Matt Faber/PA Wire

"But they probably felt it was time for a change and may well be right. Was I dumped for Monty Don? You might say that. I couldn't possibly comment. I don't feel dumped."

It was announced last year that Titchmarsh was leaving the show, with the BBC saying in a statement: "The way the Chelsea coverage will be presented across the BBC has changed for 2014, and Alan decided to step away from next year's show."

Titchmarsh told Radio Times: "I'm not bitter. I was disappointed but I'm not a grudge-bearer. You have to move on."

This year, Titchmarsh has created a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) garden for Chelsea and the BBC has booked him for an interview to talk about his creation for the Britain In Bloom scheme.

More: Alan Titchmarsh returns to the Chelsea flower show

Alan Titchmarsh returns to the Chelsea flower show

After almost 30 years, top gardener and TV presenter has said that the Chelsea Flower Show "doesn't get more demanding," after marking 50 years in horticulture.

Titchmarsh returns with a feature garden at this years show. Credit: Matt Faber/PA Wire

Titchmarsh will this year be designing a feature garden at the world famous flower show for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom scheme, which is also celebrating its half century.

"I've got a great team. When you build a garden at Chelsea you're working with the big boys, it doesn't get more demanding, more testing than this. I want to give it the best shot," he said.

The garden follows a journey in horticulture from his birthplace in Yorkshire to the coast of the Isle of Wight where he has a home and garden.

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Alan Titchmarsh leaves BBC's Chelsea Flower Show

Presenter Alan Titchmarsh is stepping down from the BBC's Chelsea Flower Show coverage after 30 years as its host.

Alan Titchmarsh Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The gardening guru decided to leave the show after a revamp of broadcasts from the event.

"I really enjoyed my 30 years of presenting Chelsea Flower Show coverage for the BBC and wish the new team every success," Mr Titchmarsh, 64, said.

He has increasingly turned his attentions away from the BBC, with an afternoon ITV chat show and a series on Classic FM following his departure from BBC Radio 2.

Cabinet minister calls Titchmarsh a 'complete muppet'

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has branded TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh a "complete muppet" for criticising the Government's countryside policies.

Mr Paterson said the gardener "missed completely everything we're doing", during an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

Alan Titchmarsh
Alan Titchmarsh has been branded a 'complete muppet' by a cabinet minister. Credit: Matt Faber/PA Archive

The rebuke came after Mr Titchmarsh questioned the response to ash dieback disease and warned that the Conservative Party had lost its roots in rural areas.

At the launch of the 100th Chelsea Flower Show last month, Mr Titchmarsh said: "Time was when the Tory party was the party of the Shires and understood how the countryside works.

"There seems to me very little investment in rural areas and the countryside. We have to look after agriculture and horticulture: growing things. This is how we feed ourselves."

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